2006 Notable Children's Books

 

Younger readers

Agee, Jon. Terrific. illus. Hyperion/Michael di Capua. (0-7868-5184-8).
  
In this winningly illustrated picture book, grumpy Eugene Mudge anticipates the worst about a windfall trip to Bermuda and utters a sarcastic “terrific.” After he befriends a talking parrot, “terrific” takes on a whole new meaning.

Arnold, Katya. Elephants Can Paint Too! illus. Simon & Schuster/Anne Schwartz. (0-689-86985-1).

Armstrong uses color photographs to compare the artistic processes of students in very different art classes – one for children in New York City, another for elephants in Thailand.

Arnold, Tedd. Hi! Fly Guy. illus. Scholastic/Cartwheel. (0-439-63903-4).

A beautiful friendship begins when Buzz the boy, proves that a fly can be one smart pet. This slim, reader-friendly tale has a robust humor and wacky cartoon art featuring an eye-popping cover. A 2006 Geisel Honor Book.

Beaumont, Karen. I Ain't Gonna Paint No More! Illus. by David Catrow. Harcourt. (0-15-202488-3).

Based on the tune “It Ain’t Gonna Rain No More,” this picture book elicits giggles and audience participation as the young narrator paints his body.  Catrow’s colorful illustrations are perfectly SPLAT-worthy.  

Bloom, Suzanne. A Splendid Friend, Indeed. illus. Boyds Mills Press. (1-59078-286-0).

In a playful text and picture-book format perfect for emergent readers, a persistent goose wins the affection and friendship of a preoccupied polar bear.  A 2006 Geisel Honor Book.

Del Negro, Janice. Willa and the Wind. Illus. by Heather Solomon. Marshall Cavendish. (0-7614-5232-X).

 

Willa Rose Mariah McVale confronts a magical wind and outwits a thieving innkeeper, in a humorous original story inspired by a Norwegian folktale.  


DiCamillo, Kate. Mercy Watson to the Rescue. Illus. by Chris Van Dusen. Candlewick. (0-7636-2270-2).

 

Meet Mercy, family pet and porcine wonder!  Read and find out how her love for buttered toast saves the day during a family emergency.  

 

Ehlert, Lois. Leaf Man. illus. Harcourt. (0-15-205304-2).

 

Ehlert arranges a variety of colorful fall leaves on die-cut pages to create a stunning landscape for the travels of imaginary wind-blown characters.

 

Graham, Bob. Oscar's Half Birthday. illus. Candlewick. (0-7636-2699-6).

 

Oscar’s Dad, Mom and four-year-old sister can’t wait for his first birthday so they celebrate with a picnic at six months. Amusingly detailed watercolors depict the very real relationships of a mixed-race family in an urban environment.

 

Grey, Mini. Traction Man Is Here! illus. Knopf. (0-375-83191-6).

 

Traction Man comes equipped with combat boots, battle pants, a deep-sea diving suit and fluorescent flippers, but can he overcome the ignominy of an all-in-one knitted green romper suit with matching bonnet?

 

Guy, Ginger Foglesong. Siesta. Illus. by René King Moreno. Greenwillow. (0-06056061-4).

 

Two children gather necessities for their backyard siesta. Brightly hued illustrations and a patterned narrative in Spanish and English reiterate color concepts, ending with a canción/song sung under a multicolored carpa/tent created by a manta/blanket. 

 

Hicks, Barbara Jean. Jitterbug Jam: A Monster Tale. Illus. by Alexis Deacon. Farrar. (0-374-33685-7).

 

Though the mixed-up monster-fears-boy theme is familiar, this charming picture book distinguishes itself with a folksy, quirky-sweet story, exquisite artwork, and an innovative design that includes comic-strip elements.

 

Juster, Norton. The Hello, Goodbye Window. Illus. by Chris Raschka. Hyperion/Michael di Capua. (0-7868-0914-0).

 

In a sunny portrait of familial love, a little girl talks about her experiences visiting her grandparents’ house. Raschka’s illustrations, which resemble the spontaneous drawings of young children, perfectly mirror the guileless young narrator’s exuberant voice while creating a surprisingly sophisticated visual experience. The 2006 Caldecott Medal Book.

 

Karas, G. Brian. On Earth. illus. Putnam. (0-399-24025-X).

 

This large format nonfiction picture book simply explains the science of the Earth’s revolution around the Sun, the tilt of its axis, and its gravitational pull. Stunning artwork visually represents each concept.

 

Kerley, Barbara. You and Me Together: Moms, Dads, and Kids Around the World. illus. National Geographic. (0-7922-8297-3).

 

In this companion book to A Cool Drink of Water, Kerley takes children on a photographic journey to meet moms, dads, and kids all around the world.  

 

Mora, Pat. Doña Flor: A Tall Tale about a Giant Woman with a Great Big Heart. Illus. by Raúl Colón. Random/Knopf. (0-375-82337-9).

 

Written in poetic language and saturated with the flavors, smells, and folkways of America’s southwest, this captivating tall tale brings life to an engaging, original character, whose love and concern for her neighbors fills the story with joy. The 2006 Belpré Illustrator Medal Book and a 2006 Belpré Author Honor Book.

 

Muth, Jon J.  Zen Shorts. illus. Scholastic. (0-439-33911-1).

 

In Muth’s story of inquisitive siblings who befriend a wise panda and learn three lessons, luminous watercolors and starkly contrasting Asian-inspired brush paintings elegantly convey gentle, timeless messages about self-knowledge and acceptance. A 2006 Caldecott Honor Book.


Park, Linda Sue and Julia Durango. Yum! Yuck! A Foldout Book of People Sounds. Illus. by Sue Ramá. Charlesbridge. (1-57091-659-4).
 
Yum can be geshmak, leckah, nam-nam or bah-bah, depending upon the spoken language.  Images of children enjoying treats open a nearly wordless story containing 22 languages with words for ha-ha, yikes, a-choo, yuck, boo-hoo, wow, and hurrah. 

 

Priceman, Marjorie. Hot Air: The (Mostly) True Story of the First Hot-Air Balloon Ride. illus. Simon & Schuster/Anne Schwartz. (0-689-82642-7).

 

Energetic lines and rich watercolors animate this aerial adventure over 18th-century France, which combines spare text, dynamic design, and masterful perspective to illuminate the high jinks of three animals swept up in the winds of history. A 2006 Caldecott Honor Book.

 

Richardson, Justin and Peter Parnell. And Tango Makes Three. Illus. by Henry Cole. Simon & Schuster. (0-689-87845-1).

 

When two male penguins make a nest together in the Central Park Zoo, a zookeeper provides them with an egg, and the penguins raise baby Tango as their own. This winning picture book, awash in icy blues, is based on an actual event.

 

Rohmann, Eric. Clara and Asha. illus. Roaring Brook. (1-59643-031-1).

 

Clara should be falling asleep, but instead she soars through the night with her imaginary friend, a fish named Asha.


Rylant, Cynthia. Henry and Mudge and the Great Grandpas. Illus. by Suçie Stevenson. Simon & Schuster. (0-689-81170-5).

 

In four simple, joyful chapters, Henry and his sweet-natured dog experience a memorable visit with Great-grandpa Bill and his buddies at the “grandpa house.”  The 2006 Geisel Medal Book .

 

Sayre, April Pulley. Stars Beneath Your Bed: The Surprising Story of Dust. Illus. by Ann Jonas. Greenwillow.  (0-06-057189-6).

 

What could be more surprising than the fact that that ordinary dust is made up of bits of stars and dinosaurs and seals’ eyelashes? This beautiful picture book makes the most of the essential grandeur of dust.

 

Seeger, Laura Vaccaro. Walter Was Worried. illus. Roaring Brook. (1-59643-068-0).

 

Watching a storm develop, Walter is worried, while succeeding characters are shocked, then delighted as the sun comes out.  In a graphically striking work, Seeger rearranges the letters that spell her characters’ reactions to shape their expressive faces.

 

Shannon, George. White is for Blueberry. Illus. by Laura Dronzek. Greenwillow. (0-06-029275-X).

 

In an unconventional, fresh and entertaining concept book, full-color paintings offer an intriguing introduction to ten colors while stimulating a closer look at nature.

 

Silverman, Erica. Cowgirl Kate and Cocoa. Illus. by Betsy Lewin. Harcourt. (0-15-202124-8).

 

Humorous repartee and fluid watercolor paintings set the tone and mood for new readers as they follow plucky Kate and her beloved horse along the trail for a day of adventures. A 2006 Geisel Honor Book .

 

Van Leeuwen, Jean. Amanda Pig and the Really Hot Day. Illus. by Ann Schweninger. Dial. (0-8037-2887-5).

 

It’s too darn hot. Hot as a fried egg, hot as toast, hot as oatmeal. In four simple, linked tales, Amanda Pig tries an assortment of kid-friendly strategies to cool off. Cartoony pencil drawings heightened with fruit-toned watercolors make this accessible story as refreshing as a cool breeze. A 2006 Geisel Honor Book.

 

Willems, Mo. Leonardo the Terrible Monster. illus. Hyperion. (0-7868-5294-1).

 

Trying very hard to be scary, Little Monster looks for the most scaredy-cat kid to practice on.

 

Winthrop, Elizabeth. Squashed in the Middle. Illus. by Pat Cummings. Henry Holt. ( 0-8050-6497-4).

 

Daisy, the middle child in a boisterous African-American family, cannot get anyone’s attention until she leaves the house. Clever design and boldly colorful artwork enhance the lively story.

Middle readers

Alarcón, Francisco X. Poems to Dream Together/Poemas para soñar juntos. Illus. by Paula Barragán. Lee & Low. (1-58430-233-X).

 

Vibrant mixed-media artwork accompanies seventeen poems written in both Spanish and English, including a reflection on historic adobe homes, an ode to César Chávez, and dreams of peace.

 

Anderson, M.T. Whales on Stilts.  Illus. by Kurt Cyrus. Harcourt. (0-15-205340-9).

 

Holy Toledo! An intrepid trio saves the world from a plan to launch stilt-walking whales onto land.

 

Armstrong, Alan. Whittington. Illus. by S.D. Schindler. Random House. (0-375-82864-8).

 

Armstrong's glorious barnyard fantasy seamlessly weaves together three tales: Whittington the cat’s arrival on Bernie’s farm; the legend of Whittington's 14th-century namesake; and one boy’s struggle to learn to read. A celebration of oral and written language, friends, and the healing power of humor. A 2006 Newbery Honor Book.

 

Birdsall, Jeanne. The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits, and a Very Interesting Boy. Knopf.  (0-375-83143-6).

 

Four sisters vacationing with their father in a summer cottage wreak havoc on the neighboring estate and rescue a boy in the process. A funny, old-fashioned novel with all the earmarks of a classic – endearingly quirky characters, fine dialogue, and a dog that gets into everything.

 

Borden, Louise. The Journey that Saved Curious George: The True Wartime Escape of Margret and H.A. Rey. Illus. by Allan Drummond. Houghton. (0-618-33924-8).

 

The amazing story of Margret and H.A. Rey, who fled German troops during World War II and entered France with their first Curious George manuscript, unfolds in scrap book style with photographs, documents, and original illustrations.

 

Burleigh, Robert. Toulouse-Lautrec: The Moulin Rouge and the City of Light. illus. Abrams. (0-8109-5867-8).

 

A strikingly designed picture book introduction to the French artist is abundantly illustrated with photographs of Toulouse-Lautrec’s subjects and reproductions of his work.

 

Collard, Sneed B. The Prairie Builders: Reconstructing America's Lost Grasslands. Photographs by Sneed B. Collard. Houghton. (0-618-39687-X).

 

Collaborative efforts to restore a portion of the native tall-grass prairie in Iowa are detailed in a distinguished prose narrative and glorious full-color photographs.  

 

Delano, Marfé Ferguson. Genius: A Photobiography of Albert Einstein. National Geographic. (0-7922-9544-7).

 

A superior photo-biography of the genius who revolutionized our scientific understanding and whose work laid the foundation for many modern technological marvels. 

 

Erdrich, Louise. The Game of Silence. illus. HarperCollins. (0-06-029789-1).

 

Traditional seasonal work and cultural occasions mark the lives of nine-year-old Omakayas and her Anishinabe family until 1850 when the community must leave its beloved home on the Lake Superior shore.  A sequel to The Birchbark House.

 

Giovanni, Nikki. Rosa. Illus. by Bryan Collier. Holt. (0-8050-7106-7).

 

In radiant, richly colored, iconic collages and spare, elegant prose, Collier and Giovanni celebrate the quiet courage of Rosa Parks. A 2006 Caldecott Honor Book and the 2006 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Medal Book.

 

Goscinny, René. Nicholas. Tr. By Anthea Bell. Illus. by Jean-Jacques Sempé. Phaidon. (0714845299).

 

Originally published as Le petit Nicolas and a favorite among French school children for nearly half a century, this translation introduces American readers to the hilarious escapades of a boy and his classmates at an all-boys school. A 2006 Batchelder Honor Book.

 

Greene, Stephanie. Queen Sophie Hartley. Clarion. (0-618-49461-8).

 

Sophie, the middle child in a family of five talented siblings, learns how to assert herself and to appreciate her own talents.

 

Himelblau, Linda. The Trouble Begins. Delacorte. (0-385-73273-2).
 
In an entertaining, original novel, fifth-grader Du recounts his difficult adjustment to life in the U.S. when he immigrates from a Vietnamese refugee camp after a ten-year separation from his family.


Holm, Jennifer L. and Matthew Holm. Babymouse: Queen of the World! Illus. by Matthew Holm. Random House. (0-375-93229-1 hc; 0-375-83229-7 pb).

 

In a funny graphic novel for young readers, Babymouse learns that a friend who treats her like a queen is worth more than an invitation to a popular but cruel schoolmate's sleepover.

 

Johnson-Davies, Denys. Goha the Wise Fool. Illus. by Hag Hamdy Mohamed Fattouh and Hany El Saed Ahmed. Philomel. (0-399-24222-8).

 

Goha, a character in Middle Eastern folklore, imparts wisdom, tricks fools, and exposes human foibles in fifteen amusing stories.  The tales are beautifully illustrated with khiyamiyas, traditional Egyptian embroideries.

 

Kerrin, Jessica Scott. Martin Bridge, Ready for Takeoff! Illus. by Joseph Kelly. Kids Can Press. (1-55337-688-9).

 

Martin Bridge learns about friendship and kindness as he encounters two very different school bus drivers, struggles with the death of a neighbor's pet, and reconciles with a friend as they decorate model rockets.

 

A Kick in the Head: An Everyday Guide to Poetic Forms. Ed. by  Paul B. Janeczko. Illus. by Chris Raschka. Candlewick. (0-7636-0662-6).

 

More than just another collection of poetry, this anthology celebrates the intricacy of various poetic forms, while Raschka’s witty art gives children a clear sense of each form.

 

McKissack, Patricia C. and Onawumi Jean Moss. Precious and the Boo Hag. Illus. by Kyrsten Brooker. Simon & Schuster/Anne Schwartz. (0-689-85194-4).

 

Scary and tricky Boo Hag Pruella is right outside the window but smart and brave Precious is determined to mind her mama and not let her in.

 

Menchú, Rigoberta with Dante Liano. The Girl from Chimel. Illus. by Domi. Tr. by David Unger. Groundwood. (0-88899-666-7).

 

In an engaging memoir accompanied by whimsical full-color artwork, Nobel Peace Prize winner Menchú recalls family anecdotes and stories from which she learned Mayan values during her childhood in Guatemala. Translated from the Spanish.


Napoli, Donna Jo. The King of Mulberry Street. Random House/Wendy Lamb. (0-385-74653-9).

 

In a wonderfully immediate historical novel set in 1892, nine-year-old Jewish Italian Dom stows away on a ship bound from Napoli to New York, learns to survive alone on the street, and challenges the ruthless padroni who prey on young immigrants.

 

Russo, Marisabina. Always Remember Me: How One Family Survived World War II. illus. Simon & Schuster/Anne Schwartz. (0-689-86920-7).

 

A young girl is finally deemed old enough to see all the pictures in her grandmother’s “before” photo album—the one that includes photos from before World War II. 

 

Sabuda, Robert and Matthew Reinhart. Dinosaurs: Encyclopedia Prehistorica. illus. Candlewick. (0-7636-2228-1).

 

A fact-crammed text accompanies three dimensional pop-up sculptures of dinosaurs that feel as if they are leaping off the page. 

 

Say, Allen. Kamishibai Man. illus. Houghton Mifflin/Walter Lorraine. (0-618-47954-6).

 

An elderly retired Japanese storyteller relives the days before television, when children would flock to hear his stories and sample his sweets. The art of kamishibai, storytelling with illustrated cards, is the precursor to manga and anime.

 

Sidman, Joyce. Song of the Water Boatman and Other Pond Poems. Illus. by Beckie Prange. Houghton Mifflin.( 0-618-13547-2).

 

Eleven joyful songs celebrate pond life through the seasons in this elegant, satisfying combination of visual drama, poetry, and scientific fact. Prange’s exceptional hand-colored woodblock artwork enlarges upon the expressive poetry. A 2006 Caldecott Honor Book .

 

Singer, Marilyn. Central Heating: Poems about Fire and Warmth. Illus. by Meilo So. Knopf. (0-375-82912-1).


Nineteen poems, both rhymed and free verse, describe with humor, wonder, and a sense of adventure the many aspects of fire, from cozy candle to raging forest fire. The fire-red pencil, wash and linocut illustrations enliven the text.

 

Taback, Simms. Kibitzers and Fools: Tales My Zayda Told Me. illus. Viking. (0-670-05955-2).

 

Taback revels in his heritage with these 13 amusing tales from the Eastern European Jewish tradition; each tale is followed by an appropriate saying that sums up its comical yet wise lesson.  

 

Turner, Pamela S. Gorilla Doctors: Saving Endangered Great Apes. illus. Houghton Mifflin. (0-618-44555-2).

 

Teams of veterinarians take to the mountains of Rwanda to safeguard the health of wild gorillas. Illustrated with glorious photographs.


Williams, Mary. Brothers in Hope: The Story of the Lost Boys of Sudan. Illus. by R. Gregory Christie. Lee & Low. (1-58430-232-1).

 

In a powerful picture book illustrated with unusual, expressive paintings, readers meet a boy, who, along with many other young people, survives the civil war that ravaged Sudan in the 1980’s. The 2006 Coretta Scott King Illustrator Honor Book.

 

Winter, Jeanette. The Librarian of Basra: A True Story from Iraq. illus. Harcourt. (0-15-205445-6).

 

Fearing imminent war, Alia Muhammad Baker takes matters into her own hands to save the books in her library. Vibrantly colored pastel acrylic paintings create a sense of distance from the most brutal horrors of war, while celebrating the courage of a brave woman.

 

Winter, Jonah. Roberto Clemente: Pride of the Pittsburgh Pirates. Illus. by Raúl Colón. Simon & Schuster/Anne Schwartz. (0-689-85643-1).

 

Black and white drawings interspersed with full color paintings depict the life and career of this Puerto Rican baseball player, and the struggles he bravely faced on and off the field.

 

Woodson, Jacqueline. Show Way. Illus. by Hudson Talbott. Putnam. (0-399-23749-6).

 

“And the children leaned in / And listened real hard. In a magnificent poem, Woodson draws on the experiences of her maternal ancestors to tell the story of slavery, emancipation, and triumph, paying tribute to the creative women who used quilts, stories, poems, and songs to share the strength to carry on.” A 2006 Newbery Honor Book.

                         

Older readers

 

Armstrong, Jennifer. Photo by Brady: A Picture of the Civil War. illus. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum. (0-689-85785-3).

 

Armstrong tracks the influence of  Mathew Brady, who changed the course of war photography, and whose stable of photographers shaped our vision of the Civil War.

 

Bartoletti, Susan Campbell. Hitler Youth: Growing Up in Hitler's Shadow. Scholastic. (0-439-35379-3).

 

By weaving the stories of twelve young Germans into the larger fabric of Nazism and World War II, Bartoletti raises awareness of Hitler’s manipulations to a new level and offers readers an opportunity to consider how they might have acted in the same situation. A 2006 Newbery Honor Book, A 2006 Sibert Honor Book and A 2006 Best Book for Young Adults (YALSA).

 

Blumenthal, Karen. Let Me Play: The Story of Title IX, the Law That Changed the Future of Girls in America. illus. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum. (0-689-85957-0).

 

A compellingly written,  well-documented history of women in sports features the efforts of many to remove sex discrimination in education by bringing Title IX into law in 1972.  A 2006 Best Book for Young Adults (YALSA).

 

Bolden, Tonya. Maritcha: A Nineteenth-Century American Girl. illus. Abrams. (0-8109-5045-6).

 

Based on an unpublished manuscript, this account introduces free-born Maritcha Rémond Lyons, who grew up in New York City during the mid-nineteenth century and went on to become an educator dedicated to bettering the lives of African Americans. A 2006 Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book and A 2006 Best Book for Young Adults (YALSA).

 

Broach, Elise. Shakespeare's Secret. Holt. (0-8050-7387-6).

 

When sixth-grader Hero Netherfield moves into the famous Murphy Diamond House, she obsesses over finding the centuries-old diamond said to be inside. A funny historical mystery illuminates the debate over Shakespeare’s identity.

 

Bruchac, Joseph. Code Talker: A Novel About the Navajo Marines of World War Two. Dial. (0-8037-2921-9).

 

Bruchac’s absorbing historical novel tells the story of a boy who became one of the brave Navajo code talkers, whose messages helped the U.S. achieve victory in World War II. A 2006 Best Book for Young Adults (YALSA).

 

Canales, Viola. The Tequila Worm. Random House/Wendy Lamb. (0-385-74674-1).

 

How does one bridge the gap between two cultures? Canales' novel provides a worthy answer: remain true to oneself and one's roots, and bring the two worlds together. The 2006 Belpré Author Medal Book.

 

Carvell, Marlene. Sweetgrass Basket. Dutton. (0-525-47547-8).

 

Mohawk sisters Mattie and Sarah relate their experiences at the Carlisle Indian School, their voices alternating in a piercingly understated sequence of prose poems.  

 

Dowell, Frances O'Roark. Chicken Boy. Simon & Schuster/Atheneum. (0-689-85816-7).

 

Seventh-grader Tobin, his family life falling apart, finds support in an unlikely friendship and solace in the company of chickens.

 

Ellis, Deborah. Our Stories, Our Songs: African Children Talk about AIDS. Fitzhenry and Whiteside. (1-55041-913-7).

 

Interviews conducted in 2003 by the author introduce children and teenagers in Malawi and Zambia directly affected by AIDS.

 

Fleming, Candace. Our Eleanor: A Scrapbook Look at Eleanor Roosevelt's Remarkable Life. illus. Simon & Schuster/Anne Schwartz. (0-689-86544-9).

 

In a well-illustrated scrapbook format, Fleming traces Eleanor Roosevelt's life from her difficult childhood to her role as a precedent-setting First Lady and a leading proponent of human rights.  A 2006 Best Book for Young Adults (YALSA).

 

Frank, Mitch. Understanding the Holy Land: Answering Questions about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. illus. Viking. (0-670-06032-1).

 

Frank succeeds in his ambitious task of explaining the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in this clear, evenhanded question-and-answer book. A 2006 Best Book for Young Adults (YALSA).

 

Freedman, Russell. Children of the Great Depression. illus. Clarion. (0-618-44630-3).

 

Freedman describes the impact of the Depression on children throughout the country in a handsomely designed book with beautifully reproduced photographs .

 

Funke, Cornelia. Inkspell. Tr. by Anthea Bell. Scholastic/Chicken House. (0-439-55400-4).

 

Dustfinger, Farid, and Meggie and her family return to the world of the fictional Inkheart to discover that the darkness underneath the beauty of the Inkworld is busily enforcing its own reality on the text they thought they knew. Translated from the German.

 

García, Laura Gallego. The Legend of the Wandering King. Tr. by Dan Bellm. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine. (0-439-58556-2).

 

Set in the deserts of Arabia before Islam, this wonderful, fantastical fairy tale about a magnificent poet and a once-noble prince is at once fresh and familiar. Translated from the Spanish.

 

Giblin, James Cross. Good Brother, Bad Brother: The Story of Edwin Booth and John Wilkes Booth. illus. Clarion. (0-618-09642-6).

 

The twin careers of actor-brothers Edwin and John Wilkes Booth play themselves out in a stunning work that seeks not so much to explain how the latter came to his tragic decision as to explore the choices that led to it and the repercussions of that decision on his bewildered family. A 2006 Best Book for Young Adults (YALSA).

 

Gruber, Michael. The Witch's Boy. HarperTempest. (0-06-076164-4).

 

In a novel that plays with familiar fairy tales, a sympathetic witch woman sacrifices everything to raise an ugly, ungrateful foundling. A 2006 Best Book for Young Adults (YALSA).

 

Guys Write for Guys Read. Ed. by Jon Scieszka. illus. Viking. (0-670-06007-0 hc, 0-670-06027-5 pbk).

 

Scieszka has compiled an intriguing collection of stories, reflections, reminiscences, advice, poems, and drawings about being a guy. 

 

Hale, Shannon. Princess Academy. Bloomsbury. (1-58234-993-2).

 

In a fresh approach to the princess story, with unexpected plot twists and great emotional resonance, Miri becomes a strong, resilient, courageous leader of the Princess Academy, the school from which the prince must choose a bride. A 2006 Newbery Honor Book.


Hiaasen, Carl. Flush. Knopf. (0-375-82182-1).

 

In a satiric look at environmental corruption, Noah sets out to prove his father’s allegation that a local casino boat is dumping sewage into the bay. A 2006 Best Book for Young Adults (YALSA).

 

Holub, Josef. An Innocent Soldier. Trans. by Michael Hofmann. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine. (0-439-62771-0).

 

Published in 2002 as Der Russländer, this novel tells the story of a young farmhand, conscripted into the army, who becomes part of Napoleon’s ill-fated march to conquer Moscow in 1811.    Translated from the German. The 2006 Batchelder Award Book and A 2006 Best Book for Young Adults (YALSA).

 

Howe, James. Totally Joe. Simon & Schuster/Ginee Seo. (0-689-83957-X).

 

Joe knows he is gay. During his 8th grade year, an English journaling assignment helps him express his growing self-awareness.

 

Jurmain, Suzanne. The Forbidden Schoolhouse: The True and Dramatic Story of Prudence Crandall and Her Students.  illus. Houghton Mifflin. (0-618-47302-5).

 

This fascinating, elegantly designed book tells the dramatic story of Connecticut schoolteacher Prudence Crandall, who, against all odds, opened a controversial school for African American girls in the 1830s in a climate of bitter racism. A 2006 Best Book for Young Adults (YALSA).

 

Krull, Kathleen. Leonardo da Vinci. Illus. by Boris Kulikov. Viking. (0-670-05920-X).

 

The extraordinary life and scientific investigations of the artist and scientist are detailed in a readable, insightful volume.

 

Lester, Julius. Day of Tears: A Novel in Dialogue. Hyperion/Jump at the Sun. (0-7868-0490-4).

 

Lester takes readers to Savannah, Georgia, in 1859 in a fictionalized account of the largest slave auction in American history, told in alternating voices of slaves, slave owners, and abolitionists. The 2006 Coretta Scott King Author Medal Book and A 2006 Best Book for Young Adults (YALSA).

 

Mwangi, Meja. The Mzungu Boy. Groundwood/House of Anansi. (0-88899-653-5).

 

In 1950’s Kenya, two boys, one the grandchild of an English landowner, one the son of the landowner’s cook, form an unlikely and quietly revolutionary friendship against the backdrop of the so-called Mau-Mau insurrection.

 

Nelson, Marilyn. A Wreath for Emmett Till. Illus. by Philippe Lardy. Houghton Mifflin. (0-618-39752-3).

 

An intricate cycle of fifteen linked sonnets eulogizes fourteen-year-old Till.  The language of flowers that is woven throughout conveys rage, pain, sorrow, and hope. A 2006 Coretta Scott King Author Honor Book, A 2006 Printz Honor Book and A 2006 Best Book for Young Adults (YALSA).


Nye, Naomi Shihab. A Maze Me: Poems for Girls. Illus. by Terre Maher. Greenwillow. (0-06-058189-1).

 

A friendly introduction and enticing section titles invite young girls to dip into this lively, varied collection of original poems about school, home, family, and, most of all, themselves.

 

Perkins, Lynne Rae. Criss Cross. Illus. Greenwillow. (0-06-009273-4).

 

In a poetic, postmodern novel that experiments with a variety of styles--haiku, song lyrics, question-answer dialogue, split-screen scenarios--Perkins follows the lives of four 14-year-olds in a small town, each at a crossroads in life. An innovative, risk-taking book in which nothing and everything happens. The 2006 Newbery Medal Book and A 2006 Best Book for Young Adults (YALSA).

 

Riordan, Rick. The Lightning Thief. Hyperion. (0-7868-5629-7).

 

Percy Jackson has been in six schools in six years. Officially diagnosed with ADHD, Percy’s lack of self control gets him in trouble again and again. Could he secretly be a demi-god? A 2006 Best Book for Young Adults (YALSA).

 

Salisbury, Graham. Eyes of the Emperor. Random House/Wendy Lamb. (0-385-72971-5).

 

In this riveting, often painful novel, a 16-year-old Japanese American boy from Hawaii enlists in the army before Pearl Harbor and faces many race-based humiliations. A 2006 Best Book for Young Adults (YALSA).

 

Staples, Suzanne Fisher. Under the Persimmon Tree. Farrar/Frances Foster. (0-374-380252).

 

Alternating between contemporary Afghanistan and Pakistan, parallel stories relate the many effects of war on two very different young women – an Afghan refugee girl and an American teacher newly converted to Islam. A 2006 Best Book for Young Adults (YALSA).


Stauffacher, Sue. Harry Sue. Knopf. (0-375-83274-2).

 

In this funny, heartbreaking novel, 11-year-old Harry Sue Clotkin vows to become a convict so she can find her mom in prison. First, however, she has to rescue her quadriplegic friend Homer and the kids in her malevolent Granny's day care.

 

Varmer, Hjørdis. Hans Christian Andersen: His Fairy Tale Life. Tr. by Tiina Nunnally. Illus. by Lilian Brøgger. Groundwood. (0-88899-690-X).
  
This peculiar, talented storyteller comes to life in a biography rich with engaging anecdotes and exquisitely detailed paper and paint collages that illustrate Andersen’s emotional world. Translated from the Danish.

 

Walker, Sally M. Secrets of a Civil War Submarine: Solving the Mysteries of the H.L. Hunley. illus. Carolrhoda. (1-57505-830-8).

 

Walker demonstrates the interdisciplinary nature of modern problem solving in a seamless, compelling account of the historical and scientific sleuthing that revealed the secrets of the H. L. Hunley, which sank an enemy ship in 1864 then vanished for 131 years. The 2006 Sibert Medal Book.

 

Wilson, Jacqueline. The Illustrated Mum. Delacorte. (0-385-73237-6).

 

Self-sufficient half-sisters Dolphin and Star cope with the increasingly unusual behavior of their mentally ill mother while secretly longing to find their respective fathers.

 

Yee, Lisa. Stanford Wong Flunks Big-Time. Scholastic/Arthur A. Levine. (0-439-62247-6).

 

Basketball fanatic Stanford Wong is forced to forgo sports camp for a summer spent making up his failed English class with the help of girl genius Millicent Min.

 

Zenatti, Valérie. When I Was a Soldier. Tr. By Adriana Hunter. Bloomsbury. (1-58234-978-9).

 

Originally published as Quand J’étais Soldate, Zenatti’s memoir of her first year as a soldier tackles the unusual topic of compulsory military service in Israel, revealing the complex fabric of Israeli society.  A 2006 Batchelder Honor Book.

 

Zevin, Gabrielle. Elsewhere. Farrar. (0-374-32091-8).

 

This unusual, wryly humorous novel begins after 15-year-old Liz comes to Elsewhere, the island where people go after they die and begin to regress to babyhood and rebirth.

 

All ages

 

A Family of Poems: My Favorite Poetry for Children. Ed. by Caroline Kennedy. Illus. by Jon J. Muth. Hyperion. (0-7868-5111-2).


A rich compilation of classic and contemporary poems varies in  topic from the silly to sublime, with luminous watercolor illustrations.